Hey shopaholics, Mysore is calling! It’s time to do some authentic shopping in Mysore. No holiday is complete without a bit of shopping. Souvenirs are a reminder of the great times and experiences you had during your holiday. And how can you come back from a trip without some gifts for your friends and family? A shopping trip during your vacation is necessary to buy some gifts and souvenirs to take home with you.
Mysore has a lot of things to offer to those looking to buy souvenirs and gifts to take home. But there’s nothing quite like doing some authentic shopping in Mysore for products it is famed for. From Mysore silk sarees to sandalwood soaps and handicrafts, you can get them all here. But the problem is—how authentic are they? From random street hawkers to shops lining the roads of Mysore, everyone sells Mysore silk sarees and sandalwood, along with rosewood or teakwood curios and products. All of them will claim that their products are authentic and made in Mysore. But not all of their claims are true.
So where do you go to buy authentic and pure Mysore silk sarees and sandalwood products? We’ll tell you how to spot the fakes and where to go for some authentic shopping in Mysore for authentic products. Here’s a list of stores where you can shop for authentic Mysore silk sarees and sandalwood products.
Also Read: 11 traditional markets to explore in India
Mysore Silk Sarees
The exquisite Mysore silk sarees have been woven and sold in the city for centuries. The fabric was initially only manufactured for the use of the royal family of Mysore and ornamental fabric for their armed forces. The silk is manufactured by the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation Limited (KSIC), which was set up by Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV in 1912. The silk weaving factory is under the Mysore State Sericulture Department since India gained independence. Since 1980, the silk factory has operated under KSIC, a Karnataka state government industry. The exquisite Mysore silk fabric has a geographical identification tag too now. Along with beautiful brightly coloured silk sarees, the factory also produces shirts, kurtas, dhotis, and neckties in pure silk.
Mysore silk sarees are made from mulberry silk. The silk cocoons for the fabric are handpicked by experts and sent to the raw silk production factory in T.Narasipura. The cocoons are boiled to extract the thread and then the thread rolls are sent to the weaving factory. The gold zari on the Mysore silk saree is what makes it extra special. The zari is woven with gold and silver threads (65 per cent pure silver and 0.65 per cent gold). This makes it one of the most expensive sarees in India so a lot of duplicates have flooded the market.
Since there are so many duplicates, shopping in Mysore for authentic silk sarees can be quite difficult. To identify the original KSIC produced silk saree check for the unique id, hologram based design and unique identification barcode.
Where To Buy Mysore Silk Sarees In Mysore?
KSIC Showroom And Factory Outlet
The best place to buy original Mysore silk sarees is the KSIC factory outlet and KSIC showroom. The factory has several outlets and showrooms in the city. You can find the KSIC showrooms and outlets in Mananthavady Road, Zoo Main Road – Indiranagar, K.R. Circle and J.L.B Road.
Badsha Stores in Devaraja Urs Road is another great place to buy Mysore silk sarees. The shop has been selling beautiful sarees to Mysoreans from 1965. They have a stunning collection of salwar kameez and dress materials along with authentic Mysore silk sarees.
Mysore Sandal Soap And Cosmetics
What better gift to give family and friends than pure sandalwood oil and sandalwood cosmetics? The Kingdom of Mysore was one of the largest producers of sandalwood in the world, which was exported around the world. However, large reserves of sandalwood were left behind during World War I as exports were hit because of the war. The then Maharaja of Mysore, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar established a Government Soap Factory and a sandalwood oil extraction factory to use the sandalwood.
Today, the factories operate under a company named Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited, which is under the jurisdiction of the Karnataka government. Along with Mysore sandal soap and sandalwood oil, the company also manufactures incense sticks, talcum powder, and detergents.
Where To Buy Mysore Sandal Soap And Cosmetics?
Sandalwood Oil Factory
The Sandalwood oil factory in Ashokapuram is the best place for all your sandalwood cosmetic needs. The factory is about two kilometres from the city centre, but the ride is worth it. You can choose to go on a guided tour of the factory or just stock up on incense sticks, sandalwood soap, pure sandalwood oil and sandalwood powder.
Mysore Handicrafts (Rosewood Inlay Figurines, Carved Wooden Furniture And Figurines)
Mysore has a lot of beautiful handicrafts. It ranges from beautifully carved rosewood and teakwood furniture, wall hangings, statues and animal figurines. The carved furniture ranges from small stools, corner stands, chairs and tables to elaborately carved swings and doors. The rosewood inlay work of Mysore is especially beautiful. Inlay work is the process of decorating the surface of carved wood (rosewood) with ivory, bone, mother-of-pearl and sandalwood.
Where To Buy Handicrafts In Mysore?
Cauvery Karnataka State Arts and Crafts Emporium
The Cauvery handicrafts emporium is a store that operates under the Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited. The objective of the government-owned handicraft store is to preserve, develop and promote local artisans and their handicrafts. The store sells authentic sandalwood statues, silk sarees, carved stonework, and furniture with rosewood inlay work among several other handicrafts.
How can one leave Mysore without buying some heavenly, ghee laden Mysore Pak? The best gift to give family and friends is an authentic taste of your vacation destination. And what better gift than some luscious melt-in-the-mouth Mysore Pak that once graced the tables of kings and queens? The Mysore Pak was invented in the royal kitchens of Mysore when the king challenged the cook to come up with a new sweet to tantalize his bored taste buds. The cook, Kakasura Madappa mixed hot sugar syrup with gram flour toasted in ghee to make a new sweet. The king loved the new dessert and from then on Mysore Pak has become a favourite of kings and commoners.
Where To Buy Mysore Pak?
Guru Sweet Mart
Kakasura Madappa established a sweet shop called Guru Sweet Mart to sell Mysore Pak to the people of the city. His descendants carried on the tradition and still operate the sweet shop. The Mysore Pak sold in Guru Sweet Mart is still made with Kakasura Madappa’s original recipe. The store also sells several other sweets like motichoor laddoo, peda and pumpkin halwa among others.
Refresh Your Bargaining Skills Through Some Authentic Shopping In Mysore
So now that you have a list of things you can buy in Mysore and where to buy them from, you can plan your day of authentic shopping in Mysore. All that’s left is to wear comfortable shoes and refresh your bargaining skills. Get ready to shop till you drop and have fun doing some authentic shopping in Mysore.